American [no longer] In Korea

The New Jersey of Asia

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Expat Finances 201: Investing With Taxable Accounts

This is the second article in a series of personal finance and investment articles mainly for American expats, though domestic residents and non-Americans will find it useful as well.

101 is a foundation for everyone, but particularly useful to those with student loans or other debt

201 is a primer to investment for those with no debt, or with savings of less than $10,000

Investing in Stock Funds for Novices

On Minimalist Wealth

The minimum purchase for the funds we’ll be looking at is $3,000 each. I recommend having $20,000 before investing like this, otherwise my beginner investing article might be more appropriate.

Novice Stock Investing

To invest at a slightly more advanced level means we’ll have many more options, which really means more crap we have to filter out. With a larger bankroll, we’ll also get lower expense ratios. Simplicity is still a virtue, but with more confidence and understanding, we can put a higher emphasis on value and precision.

Vanguard is the brokerage that specializes in long-term investing, as reflected by their philosophy, advice, and superior fund selection.* Vanguard's expense ratios are rock bottom and they won't hesitate to tell you that every chance they get. Their customer service is excellent too. Most Vanguard funds have a $3,000 minimum, and can be converted to Admiral shares at $10,000, which are the same funds at a significantly lower expense ratio.

Training Wheels

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